The first bellwether trials involving polypropylene hernia mesh products manufactured by C.R. Bard, Inc. and its Davol, Inc. subsidiary have been delayed yet again, thanks to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Those trials, which could provide valuable insight into how future juries might rule in similar hernia mesh lawsuits, were originally slated to begin in May and June in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio. But after nearly all in-person legal proceedings were put on hold due to COVID-19, the Court postponed the first trial until July and indicated subsequent trials would not begin until September.
Now with coronavirus shut-downs continuing in Ohio and other states, a new Order issued on April 24th has delayed the start of the first bellwether trial until September 29, 2020. Dates for the second and third hernia mesh trials have yet to be established.
“The Court will continue to monitor the situation closely and be in touch with the parties about the September 29, 2020 trial date, and may reconsider the decision to hold the Johns trial on that date if the situation does not improve,” the order states.
“The Court will also update the parties at the next status conference regarding dates for the Milanesi and Stinson trials.”
There are currently more than 6,800 Bard hernia mesh lawsuits pending in the multidistrict litigation underway in the Southern District of Ohio. According to the April 24th Order, plaintiffs’ attorneys estimate that approximately 500 new cases are being filed in the proceeding every month, suggesting the docket will grow to include nearly 10,000 lawsuits by the end of the year.
All of the lawsuits were filed on behalf of patients who experienced hernia recurrence and other debilitating complications due to the allegedly defective nature of the defendant’s polypropylene implants, including Composix E/X Mesh, Ventralex Hernia Mesh, Ventralight ST Mesh, Composix Mesh, Kugel Hernia Patch, CK Parastomal Patch, and the Modified Kugel Patch.
Plaintiffs claim that Bard and Davol have long known that the polypropylene used to manufacture these hernia mesh implants was biologically incompatible with human tissue and not suitable for permanent implantation. Yet the defendants continued to market their products as safe and effective for use in hernia repair surgery and failed to warn the public about their potential dangers.
The first Bard hernia mesh lawsuit scheduled for trial involves Ventralight ST Mesh.